A letter to MJ

I’m not here to talk about the facts of Michael Jackson’s illustrious and often troubled career. Neither am I here to claim I am the biggest MJ fan. I am here because I don’t know what else to do. I don’t how else to express my love and loss for the ‘King Of Pop.’

Dear Michael,

Thank you for everything. For your song, for your dance, for your love.

I will always remember my earliest memory of you being scared shitless of you in the Thriller video. I have your ‘Number Ones’ DVD and still cannot bring myself to watch that video. It’s the bit where your eyes change, scares the life out of me. I had a nightmare once that you were coming to get me and you opened the sliding door at the top of the staircase at my flat and you and your zombie buddies were just opening my room door, before I woke up and ran into my parents’ room and couldn’t sleep alone for months after that. Thanks for that.

Another fond memory was when me and my 2 closest cousins got a BAD sweater, all in different colours, and I could swear I wore that for ages, like months on end.

I never really understood how amazing you were until I got older. In fact, the older I got, the more I got involved in music and the more I comprehended your mastery. I don’t know where to begin.

Your music was something else. You made a whole genre of your own. You were a young child who expressed soul and passion beyond your years. I remember being 15 and hearing your version of ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ on vinyl and the note that you hit (ain’t no suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun when she’s gone) just moved me. You were just a cute little boy, who had the voice of a boy, but the expression of a man who had been through some REAL shit. And it’s that expression that you carried on through the years. NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY could paint a picture through vocal expression the way you did. Through your vocal expression you were tender, soft, gentle- yet equally powerful, energetic and excited. Your voice was your instrument. The more I heard you, the more I appreciated this unique, divine ability you possessed. You and Quincy made some of the finest music I will ever know. The depth in Quincy’s arrangements and your vocal ability and artistic, often luscious, melodies were most certainly a match made in heaven. I never knew the depth of your music until I was older. Whereas ‘Thriller’ and ‘Bad’ could have always been enough to convince me that you were the King, I discovered ‘Dangerous’ as I grew older. Older still and the further I delved into music, I picked up ‘Off The Wall’ (My favourite album of yours). Your body of work oozed a quality which made it so current yet STILL, however many years on from when it was produced, YEARS ahead of its time. And it’s much more than album sales, much more than the biggest album of all time. It’s the depth, the way you covered every single human emotion known to man, in a new, fresh way every single time. You made me dance, laugh, happy and you made me sad, feel lonely and broke my heart. I am a better man because of you and what you did through your music.

Your dance was the dance of angels. Your presence, your grace, your aggression, your electricity. NOBODY could ever emulate your style and do you justice. I remember watching the video of you in Bucharest and that little breakdown thing you did in Billie Jean. I have that video on my iPod. You’d always commit 100% to every single move you made. You’re the reason that many people dance today. I sometimes think to myself that popular dance started because of you, you’re the beginning of the line (although I know this isn’t TECHNICALLY true and mad props to James Brown and your other influences). But you revolutionised dance. You took it to another level. You set the bar so high, that even to this day, 20 odd years on from when you first moonwalked, we haven’t seen a signature move quite in the same league- and even contemporary stars are nothing compared you. You certainly danced from the heart, and expressed your inner most feelings through it.

Your impact on music and society cannot be summed up in words. You changed music FOREVER. Regardless of genre, you are a star bigger than the sun, and you defined what it was to be a global phenomenon. You were the forefather of todays stars, our Beyonce, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z and all the other cats owe it all to you. Without you, there would be no them. The Ne-Yo’s and Chris Brown’s of today are mere pretenders to your throne. Everyone in popular music, at the very LEAST, is in debt to you. You revolutionised music videos and their importance in the industry. You made them epic, feature length spectacles to be marveled at. You made them another way to sell your music. You expressed through them another aspect of the genius creativity you had. Your visual delicacies were often ground breaking.

You broke boundaries, being the first African American on MTV. You had the biggest selling album of all time. The most expensive music video. The first this, the most that… it’s endless.

I know that you were a deeply troubled individual. But that makes it all the more special that you gave us what you did. Through all your trials and tribulations, you managed to rise above it all.

There was always talk of you having done this that and the next, and for the best part of it all, even if you were guilty, it didn’t take away from what you did. Through both your trials and all the stuff that was said about you, I always played your music. I always believed that even if you were guilty, you were still Michael Jackson, the artist. The dancer. THE PERFORMER. Regardless of your personal life, you are still the GREATEST PERFORMER EVER. There’s probably not a corner in the world where you aren’t known. Even the deepest, tribal heart of any continent- if they know of any one artist- IT’S YOU!

You were amazing. Music did not die when you did. It lives on forever. ESPECIALLY your music.

You, MJ, YOU Rocked my world.

Thank you for everything.

In the words of your brother Jermaine ‘May Allah Be With You.’

A Colourless Music Lover.

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